Food security in India leaves much to be desired
24 February 2009
India's malnutrition figures are not coming down despite a numberof government programmes, says a new report released by WorldFood Programme. The research points out the need for a revampedpublic distribution system and greater public investment to addressthe wants of rural population.New Delhi, India:
High economic growth rates have failed to improve foodsecurity in India leaving the country facing a crisis in its rural economy,warns the latest report released by the World Food Programme and the M SSwaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).A hunger-free India/ Photo credit: Rein Skullerud/ WFPLaunched in the Indian capital on February 20, 2009,
State of Food Insecurity in Rural India
tries to give a broad indicative picture of the level of food insecurity in different states of the country and the operation of thenutrition safety net programmes.The report says that the number of undernourished people is rising,reversing gains made in the 1990s. Slowing growth in food production, risingunemployment and declining purchasing power of the poor in India arecombining to weaken the rural economy.
Strengthening rural interventions
“The report suggests priority areas of action to help achieve the national andMillennium Development Goal of reducing hunger and malnutrition,” saidMihoko Tamamura, WFP Representative and Country Director for India.It also examines the effectiveness of some of the important food-basedinterventions like the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Integrated ChildDevelopment Services (ICDS), and the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), andrecommends measures for improved performance. “There is a need to create a universal PDS with uniform prices affordable tothe poor and the allocation should be based on the number of consumption